Impact opened with TNA World champion Magnus and TNA president Dixie Carter talking out some issues in a very dark part of the arena without much lighting. Magnus asked Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III if they are on the same page. Spud was on-board, but ECIII seemed reluctant.
Out in the arena, Magnus and Dixie walked to the ring for a speech. Magnus asked the crowd to sit down and be quiet while he makes an announcement. But, first, he needed MVP to join him in the ring. Once MVP entered the ring, Magnus introduced himself as the TNA World champion. And he is not impressed by people who glorify criminal conduct, like MVP.
Pause for a “paper champion” chant. Magnus continued that if MVP steps out of line with him, he will make an example out of him. MVP replied that he knows Magnus’s credentials, including being paper champion. But, he’s not here to exchange “pleasantries.” He asked Magnus if he’s ready to accept his offer for Lethal Lockdown with the winning team taking complete control of wrestling operations.
Magnus said it is with great pleasure that on-behalf of Dixie Carter (“for now,” MVP interjected), they accept the challenge. But, he will not be in the match as team captain because he will be defending the TNA Title against Samoa Joe after going through Gunner tonight. MVP questioned him looking right past Gunner, but Magnus wrote off Gunner and MVP’s suit. Magnus vowed to make MVP his — you better not — Magnus repeated himself, then said “bi-atch.” MVP told him not to say that, then he popped him in the mouth.
The fight was on until ECIII beat down MVP from behind. TNA cut to a backstage shot of random security guards holding back the Wolves, disallowing them from making the save. The Wolves eventually broke free, tossed Rockstar Spud aside, and clashing noises played in the ring. It was Gunner, who made the save for MVP. The Wolves then showed up ringside and cornered Magnus and ECIII. Magnus decided to bail, shoving ECIII in the way for a beating. The Wolves then stood tall in the ring with a recovering MVP.
Video Package: Bobby Roode feels betrayed by Dixie Carter.
Backstage: Roode was shown arriving at the building. Roode was asked for comment on his TNA status by a roving cameraman. Roode paused and said anything he has to say tonight will be said in front of the world. He didn’t answer the question. Roode then walked off.
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
[Q2…] Backstage: Ethan Carter III slammed open a hallway door looking for Magnus. He found Magnus already dressed for his title defense. ECIII asked Magnus about literally throwing him to the Wolves, then Magnus stood up and told Carter to fall in line and do what his auntie says. Carter sarcastically said he gets it and he’ll make sure he’s out there tonight.
In-ring: Samoa Joe was randomly in the ring. Joe said he gets to face the winner of Magnus-Gunner at Lockdown, which means he doesn’t have a fight tonight. Joe issued an Open Challenge to any resident of Dixieland to come find him. Bro-Mans’s music played to bring out the TNA tag champs and D.J. Zema. Joe was unamused watched them make their entrance. All three hit the ring to surround Joe, who asked which one of them is going to fight him. Joe answered that maybe it should be all three, then threw a haymaker to start the match.
1 — SAMOA JOE vs. TNA tag champs BRO-MANS (ROBBIE E. & JESSIE) & D.J. ZEMA — handicap match
Joe fought them all off early on, but the Bros eventually beat down Joe in the corner. Jessie attempted a dropkick as the other two held up Joe, then D.J. delivered a running moonsault for a two count. The heels continued to work on Joe until D.J. accidentally dropkicked the tag champs coming off the top rope. Joe responded with a combination DDT and Russian Legsweep on the tag champs, sending them to the floor.
Joe wanted the Muscle Buster on Zema, but Zema raked Joe’s eyes to escape. Joe recovered and delivered the MB on his second try. Joe then slapped on the rear-naked choke submission for a quick tap-out before the Bro-Mans could make the save.
WINNER: Joe via submission at 3:40. Basic reinforcement of Joe as a threat to the TNA Title at Lockdown.
Backstage: Christy Hemme was talking to a stagehand about her battery pack not working. Sam Shaw then walked up behind the stagehand and casually put him in a sleeper. Shaw lightly tossed down the stagehand onto a crate, then loudly threw him into a garage door. Shaw followed with a light boot to the poor soul before walking back toward Christy’s battery pack to feel her presence.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q3] Next Week: Kurt Angle’s TNA Hall of Fame induction. What’s his injury status? No answer.
Backstage: Bobby Roode was shown talking to James Storm. Roode said he wants to talk to him before he walks out there and does this. “Do what?” Storm grumbled. Roode said they got into this business together, but he doesn’t feel it anymore. Roode said he never trusted anyone in this company and it’s getting to be too much for him. “The hell you saying, man?” Storm asked. Roode said all of the bad from their relationship breaking down is on him. He said the good stuff – the Beer Money stuff – that can’t be re-created. Roode said he knows at the end of the day, Storm was the only one he could trust, and he messed it up. Storm laughed, not believing him. Roode said he’s serious. Storm said part of this business is slapping the business back after it slaps you. He said this business is dog eat dog and they knew it coming in. Storm, sounding a Robertson Family member, said the only person responsible for their actions is us. Roode got up and hugged Storm, then thanked him. Roode walked off. Cut.
Office: MVP was on the phone. X champ Austin Aries resurfaced to talk to MVP. Aries asked why he’s here, then MVP asked Aries to anchor his team at Lethal Lockdown. What’s in it for him? MVP said if he wins Lockdown, he can make things right with this company. Aries was untrusting, saying he’s heard a lot of empty promises in this company. He vowed to contemplate the offer and give MVP an answer.
Video Package: European Vacation. Included was top heel Magnus talking out-of-character in a positive manner about the fans. TNA tried to turn this into a storyline-driven video by showing Madison Rayne and Gail Kim fighting backstage and agents separating them.
In-ring: KO champion Madison Rayne was introduced to the ring for a Street Fight against Gail.
[Commercial Break at 9:37]
2 — KO champion MADISON RAYNE vs. GAIL KIM (w/Lei’D Tapa) — non-title Street Fight
Back from break, Gail was introduced to the ring with Tapa, but Madison left the ring to attack Gail on the entrance ramp before the match could start. Madison beat up Gail ringside, then chucked her into the ring. Madison continued the attack until Gail fought back. The fight moved to the floor, where Tapa became involved, almost turning this into a handicap match.
[Q4] Back in the ring, Madison delivered a spear, so Tapa entered the ring to fight Madison. Tapa provided enough of a distraction for Gail to pull out a desperation win, then Tapa hauled Gail out of the ring and carried her to the back. Madison recovered in the ring.
WINNER: Gail at 4:17.
Up Next: Gunner military video package.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Backstage: Mr. Anderson was shown pictures to Christy Hemme. Christy said she can’t believe Anderson made “them,” apparently referring to Anderson’s twins at home. Sam Shaw was shown creeping into the picture seething about another man getting near Christy.
Video Package: Gunner as a high school wrestling fan. Included were comments from his mom and dad. Then, 9/11 happened and Gunner decided to serve in the military by joining the Marines. They documented Gunner’s attempt to be a pro wrestler and rise up the ranks. Next was footage of Gunner’s wife commenting on his TNA signing. Gunner said he got into TNA not to be a rich man, but to be a champion.
Backstage: TNA showed Gunner warming up in the hallway. James Storm then pulled him aside for a chat.
Up Next: Bobby Roode speaks.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
[Q5 — second hour] Flashback: ECIII took out Kurt Angle two weeks ago. Injured or not, Angle will be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame next week.
Backstage: The roving cameraman found ECIII in Dixie’s office. The person asked Carter about his claim of ending Angle’s career. ECIII talked up Angle, then heelishly said he will allow Angle to break the “news” to the world about the end of his career next week during the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Backstage: Storm was shown sitting down Gunner to discuss his TNA Title shot tonight. Storm said all of his hard work will pay off tonight. He talked up how exciting it is to hold the World Title, then told him to seize the moment. Storm said he’ll be watching closely.
In-ring: Bobby Roode walked to the ring in street clothes. Roode sold being distraught and contemplative as Taz and Mike Tenay discussed the drain of the wrestling business. Roode hit the ring and sold as if he had a big announcement to get off his chest.
Once in the ring, Roode said that for the last 11 years, he has been proud to call Impact Wrestling his home. Roode said for the last 17 years, he has proudly lived his dream as a pro wrestler. Roode did the big babyface speech about performing for the fans. But, there are some things in his career that he’s not proud of. He said he ruined friendships and destroyed alliances. Roode said he can’t change what’s done; just change his future. That’s why he’s here tonight.
Roode said tonight is his last night as a pro wrestler. Oohs from the crowd. “No!” shouts followed. Roode said he can’t do this anymore. He said he just sees hate in the mirror. “I hate myself!” he said. Roode said he’s had to put up with Dixie Carter’s crap for weeks and he can’t take it anymore. He said he can’t be here anymore. “I’m sorry,” he said. But, before he goes, he wants to do something that he’s never done in his career. He thanked all of the fans, selling getting choked up. “Thank you!” he said before dropping the mic.
Suddenly, Dixie Carter’s music played. Dixie marched down to the ring to confront Roode, who returned to the ring. Dixie said Roode doesn’t get to decide when he leaves because he has a contract. And she will decide when Roode can leave. Dixie entered the ring as Roode told her that he cannot do this anymore and he is done. Dixie said he didn’t want Jeff Hardy, Sting, or A.J. Styles in her company, as all they did was cause her problems. But, she needs him. “You need me?! For what?” Roode shouted. “To protect your little champion?”
Dixie said she’s sorry. She said she has been dealing with so much stuff around here. “That’s not my problem. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to work for you anymore,” he told Dixie. Carter replied with more speech about herself, saying wrestling operations are on the line at Lockdown. Dixie said she needs a team captain at Lockdown and she wants Roode to captain her team. Roode asked why he would do that after all the broken promises. Dixie said this is not about a World Title shot, but a vested interest in bringing that victory to her. Dixie said she is willing to give Roode 10 percent of TNA. Ownership. That is how important this match is.
Roode thought it over, then asked if he understands this correctly. Roode asked if they become business partners if he wins. Dixie said that’s not the case, as Roode gets 10 percent ownership. Dixie told Roode that it changes everything. Roode thought it over, then repeated the offer out-loud. “You have a deal,” Roode said, extending his hand for a shake. “But, just remember, if you think for one second that you’re going to screw me over, I’m going to dedicate the rest of my life to destroying yours.”
Backstage: Jeremy Borash was standing by with online Gut Check winner Bad Bones from Germany. From last year. As Mr. Anderson and Christy Hemme continued to look at photos in the background, Bad Bones started talking in German. Suddenly, Sam Shaw jumped Anderson, knocking down Hemme in the process. Shaw then scooped up a KO’ed Hemme and walked off. In a voice-over, Tenay asked what Sam’s deal is. And, where is he taking her?
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 10:15]
Backstage: Bobby Roode was shown talking to Bad Influence. Actually, Christopher Daniels did all the excited talking about Roode having a shot at 10 percent investment interest. Daniels offered himself and Kazarian, but Roode said he needs the best men in the Lockdown match. Not just his friends. He told them to prove it in the ring.
In-ring: JB was now handling ring introductions. And the Wolves were introduced to the ring for the next match. Bad Influence was introduced next for a match that many people anticipated when the Wolves signed with TNA. Taz quickly tried to microwave-hype the match before the bell sounded.
3 — THE WOLVES (EDDIE EDWARDS & DAVEY RICHARDS) vs. BAD INFLUENCE (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & KAZARIAN)
Fast-paced action early on with the Wolves in control. But, Kaz attacked Davey from behind. The heels then double-teamed Richards as the announcers hyped AMC’s new arm-wrestling show. Edwards took a tag and popped Daniels with strikes and kicks before delivering a running backpack slam for a two count.
A brawl broke out in the ring before Daniels dropped Eddie with a uranage. Daniels tried the BME, but Eddie avoided. Wolves then double-teamed Daniels in rapid-fire fashion. Double foot stomp from Davey, then Eddie covered Daniels for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Wolves at 5:45.
Backstage: Sam Shaw was shown hauling Christy Hemme to the trainer’s room. Shaw, apparently oblivious to a camera within a few feet of him, put Christy on the table, then Christy woke up and asked where Anderson is. Shaw told her to calm down, then began rubbing her shoulders. Shaw suddenly spotted the camera following him and scared away the camera operator.
Up Next: Magnus video feature. Is this in-character heel Magnus or out-of-character, “don’t take this wrestling stuff seriously” Magnus?
[Commercial Break at 10:28] […Q7]
[Q7…] Vignette: Jeff Hardy is Willow. Hardy was shown talking in a crazed, modulated voice about social media and such. The prophecies are being fulfilled. Or something. “Willow is coming…”
Video Feature: Magnus sort of in-between heel and out-of-character talking about his journey to pro wrestling. Back to heel about people calling him a paper champion. Back to out-of-character about becoming champion from nothing. Magnus said being champion means he represents the entire company. Back to heel about Gunner being just a wrestler, while he is the asset. If you filter through it, apparently the story is Magnus worked to his position, but heelishly traded in hard work for selling out to get the #1 spot next to Dixie.
Up Next: Magnus was shown marching down the hallway. And, a second shot of Gunner. The TNA Title match is next.
[Commercial Break at 10:34]
Next Thursday: Roode vs. MVP in a Lethal Lockdown captains match. Plus, Kurt Angle’s TNA HOF ceremony.
In-ring: Gunner was introduced for the TNA World Title match. Gunner displayed his Feast or Fired title shot briefcase as Tenay noted that Gunner handed over the Tag Title FoF briefcase to James Storm for safe-keeping. Magnus then came out alone to defend the TNA Title. Before the match started, JB handled formal ring introductions. 258 pounds for Gunner vs. 252 pounds for Magnus. Suddenly, Tenay relayed news that the match has been changed to “Magnus Rules” a/k/a No DQ. Did anyone inform Gunner? Or, the ref?
4 — TNA World Hvt. champion MAGNUS vs. GUNNER — TNA World Title match — No DQ match
Magnus stalled for time early on, trying to get Gunner out of his element. Magnus then grabbed a headlock and worked the headlock for a solid couple of minutes trying to keep Gunner on the ground. Taz talked the whole length of the headlock, then Tenay asked Taz to evaluate Magnus’s strategy working the headlock. Gunner finally broke free and angrily ripped off elbow strikes. But, Magnus kneed him in the back, sending Gunner flying to the outside.
As Gunner recovered on the outside, Magnus waved to the back to bring out his help. Instead, the Wolves and James Storm walked out. Storm waved his finger “no” toward a flustered Magnus as Impact cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
Back from break nine minutes before the top of the hour, Gunner’s friends were ringside watching the title match continue. Magnus ignored them and slapped on a Camel Clutch, but Gunner refused to give up. Gunner ran Magnus into the corner to escape, but Magnus slapped on a sleeperhold to follow up. “Don’t you quit, Gunner!” Storm shouted from ringside. Gunner heeded Storm’s advice and delivered a back-drop suplex to escape.
At 10:00, both men recovered to their feet. After trading bombs, Magnus cut off Gunner with a knee to the gut. Magnus followed with a Michinoku Driver, then climbed to the top rope for an elbow drop that resutled in a nearfall.
Magnus, now desperate, left the ring to retrieve the title belt. Magnus slid into the ring with the belt, but Gunner ducked a belt shot. Suddenly, they collided with mid-ring cross-body block attempts. Both men sold on the mat until heels Bro-Mans and D.J. Zema hit the ring. The faces beat the heels out of the ring, keeping it one-on-one in the ring.
Back in the ring, Gunner powerbombed Magnus, then climbed to the top rope. Gunner delivered a flying headbutt, then covered Magnus, but Rockstar Spud showed up at the last second to put Magnus’s foot on the bottom ropes. Magnus saw Spud and lost focus, eying Spud ringside. Gunner chased Spud around ringside, then Magnus belt-shotted him, but Gunner kicked out of a pin.
Suddenly, Storm re-emerged and chased Spud around ringside. Back in the ring, Gunner no-sold a corner turnbuckle smash, then smashed his own head into the turnbuckle to fire himself up. Big corner knee, then Gunner snapped off a slingshot suplex. Gunner slapped himself around as Spud looked for an opening to re-enter the ring. Gunner then delivered a uranage and again went to the corner. Spud entered the ring to block, so Storm entered the ring and chucked Spud over the top rope to the floor.
Storm then fired up the crowd and Gunner came flying off the top rope toward Magnus, but Storm intercepted Gunner with a mid-air Last Call Superkick. Storm turned evil with the look in his eyes, glaring down at Gunner, who remained out cold on the mat. Magnus then covered Gunner for the pin and the win. Afterward, Storm continued to glare down at Gunner as Tenay said that he can’t believe Storm just cost Gunner the TNA Title.
WINNER: Magnus at 16:36 to retain the TNA World Title. Magnus showed some intangibles as a top champion that were missing before this match, while Gunner had probably his best in-ring performance in TNA showing fire at the end that that didn’t seem manufactured, forced, or over-done. And, at the end of the day, yet another TNA babyface has turned heel. Storm could use the character refreshment, but it points to the historical issue in TNA where the audience can’t get behind babyfaces on the roster because they ultimately end up turning heel.
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